Jonathan Michael Borwein (20 May 1951 – 2 Aug 2016) was a Scottish mathematician who held an appointment as Laureate Professor of mathematics at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Noted for his prolific and creative work throughout the international mathematical community, he was a close associate of David H. Bailey, and they have been prominent public advocates of experimental mathematics. Indeed, Borwein is arguably the father of the field known as experimental mathematics.
Borwein was Shrum Professor of Science (1993–2003) and a Canada Research Chair in Information Technology (2001–08) at Simon Fraser University, where he was founding Director of the Centre for Experimental and Constructive Mathematics. In 2004, he (re-)joined the Faculty of Computer Science at Dalhousie University as a Canada Research Chair in Distributed and Collaborative Research, cross-appointed in Mathematics, while preserving an adjunct appointment at Simon Fraser.
He was born in St. Andrews, Scotland in 1951, and received his B.A. (Honours Math) from University of Western Ontario in 1971, and his D.Phil. from Oxford University in 1974 as a Rhodes Scholar at Jesus College. Prior to joining SFU in 1993, he worked at Dalhousie University (1974–91), Carnegie-Mellon (1980–82) and the University of Waterloo (1991–93). He has received various awards including the Chauvenet Prize (1993), Fellowship in the Royal Society of Canada (1994), Fellowship in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2002), an honorary degree from Limoges (1999), and foreign membership in the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (2003). He was elected as a Fellow to the Australian Academy of Science (2010). In 2014, he became a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society. He is an ISI highly cited mathematician for the period 1981–1999.
Borwein had varied scientific administration experience. For example, he was Governor at large of the Mathematical Association of America (2004–07), was president of the Canadian Mathematical Society (2000–02) and chair of (the Canadian National Science Library) NRC-CISTI Advisory Board (2000–2003). He served as chair of various of NATO's scientific programs. He was also Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI). He chaired the Canadian HPC consortium, now Compute Canada and the International Mathematical Union's Committee on Electronic Information and Communications (2002–2008).
His interests spanned pure mathematics (analysis), applied mathematics (optimization), computational mathematics (numerical and computational analysis), and high performance computing. He authored ten books (most recently several on Experimental Mathematics and a monograph on convex functions, and over 400 refereed articles. He was a co-founder (1995) of a software company MathResources, consulting and producing interactive software primarily for school and university mathematics.
- Borwein integral
- Borwein's algorithm
- Peter Borwein, his brother and co-researcher
- David Borwein, his father and co-researcher
- David H. Bailey, co-researcher and co-author